Monday, June 10, 2013

Fish with Sage, Wine and Shallots

For delicate, moist fish, we use a bed of shallots to prevent the fillets from directly touching the skillet.  We stumbled upon this method of cooking fish when Ezra was in utero and we wanted a quick, delicious way to squeeze in a serving of low-mercury fish every week.  Now that we have a toddler on the outside, it is still our family's favorite way to serve fish--Ezra likes it so much we didn't have time to get a photo of him eating it, so here is one of him grinning after polishing off his portion.

Fish with Sage, Wine and Shallots

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, sliced into rings
10 leaves sage, chopped
2 fish fillets -- delicate white fish like tilapia, basa, petrale sole or cod
salt and pepper
dry white wine

Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Saute the shallots and sage for just a minute.  Carefully lay the fish on top of the shallots and turn the heat to medium-low.   Add enough white wine to immerse the fish halfway, season with salt and pepper and cover.  Cook for a few minutes, then turn the fish over and cook, covered, until it is white throughout.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cheesy Rice with Leeks and Swiss Chard

We had a fantastic version of this comforting and nourishing casserole from Three Stone Hearth that was a big hit with the whole family, so we decided to try to duplicate it in our kitchen.  Ezra couldn't help much with this recipe, but happily ate his portion.

Cheesy Rice with Leeks and Swiss Chard

For the rice:
1 cup short-grain brown rice
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 cup broth/stock

Everything else:
2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, trimmed and finely minced
3 cups chopped Swiss chard (1 bunch)
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup broth/stock

We soaked our rice overnight with a tablespoon of yogurt and one cup of water.  You can, of course, skip this step if you aren't afraid of the phytic acid fairy.

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a small casserole dish.

Add 1 cup stock to the rice and water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer until the liquid is fully absorbed.

Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the leeks over low heat until very soft.  Set the leeks aside and saute the chard until soft.

Combine the cooked rice, leeks, chard, parsley, cheddar, 1 cup stock and salt in the casserole dish and cover.  (With unsalted stock, we added 1/2 teaspoon salt.  With commercial salted chicken broth, you might not need any salt.)

Bake for about 45 minutes, until the casserole is bubbly.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chocolate Chip Almond Meal Cookies

We're such giant hippies that only today, at the ripe old age of two and a half, did Ezra taste his first bite of (grain-free, honey-sweetened) cookie.  This isn't an original recipe--we just used this one--but we decided the occasion was momentous enough to warrant a post.

Ezra helped make these cookies by pouring the ingredients into the bowl and mixing.  He greased the pan with a butter wrapper (big hit!) and he used his well-developed smushing skills to shape the cookies on the pan.  

We made a double batch and only put chocolate chips in half of the cookies.  Yes, we are denying Ezra the joys of chocolate until he's old enough to find his own.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Slow-cooked Kale

Ezra loves slow-cooked kale, which we often eat by itself, but sometimes serve over whole wheat pasta and sausage.
Ezra and I took the kale outside with a bucket of water and washed each leaf thoroughly.  Then we ripped out the stems and ripped the kale into small pieces.  We weren't quite ready to come inside and start cooking at that point, so we fed the kale stems to the chickens.

Once inside, Ezra cut the butter (and helped himself to a pat) and I took over from there. 

Slow-cooked Kale

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

Heat the butter in a cast-iron skillet with a lid.  Saute the garlic and kale until the kale is wilted.  Add the chicken broth, turn heat to low, and cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, until the kale is soft -- adding more liquid as needed.  Add the vinegar, salt to taste, and serve.

Soaked Oatmeal with Molasses, Nutritional Yeast and Dried Blueberries

This oatmeal was an exercise in making breakfast as nutritious as humanly possible.  First we soaked the oats, Weston Price style, then added iron-rich molasses, B-vitamin packed nutritional yeast and antioxidant-loaded blueberries.  Also, it was delicious.

Ezra is enjoying his cooking education so much that he's started requesting to "do a recipe".  He participated in making this oatmeal at almost every level, from stirring the oats and water with his hands to carefully arranging the blueberries in each bowl.  (He wasn't involved in the actual cooking, though.)

   Soaked Oatmeal with Molasses, Nutritional Yeast and Dried Blueberries

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 cup milk
blackstrap molasses
nutritional yeast
dried blueberries
chopped walnuts

Combine the oats, water and yogurt in a small saucepan and soak, at room temperature, overnight.  Add the milk and a pinch of salt, then simmer a until the oats are fully softened.

Top with a pat of butter, small drizzle of molasses, sprinkle of nutritional yeast, dried blueberries and chopped walnuts.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sauerkraut Borscht

If you're the kind of hippie who has a mason jar of sauerkraut brewing on the kitchen counter (between the jars of water kefir, yogurt and kombucha), this is a great way to add a new kraut recipe to the rotation.  If you don't brew your own kefir and kombucha, you might not be watching enough Portlandia.

(We wrote this recipe before Ezra was born, so we don't have a picture of him eating it.)

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons caraway seed
4 cups beets, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 medium potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 sprigs thyme, tied with twine or in a bouquet garni
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons minced dill
1 cup sauerkraut (preferably brined)
apple cider vinegar

yogurt or sour cream

Heat two tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions are soft. Add the caraway seeds and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the beets, potato, thyme, salt and just enough water to cover. Simmer until the beets are fully cooked.

Remove from the heat. Take out the thyme and stir in the dill. Puree half of the soup in a blender or food mill, then stir it back together.

In a frying pan, saute the sauerkraut in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter until softened. Stir the kraut into the soup, reheat if necessary, and taste. If you would like more sour flavor, add apple cider vinegar to taste.

Serve hot, with sour cream or yogurt.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Indian-spiced Carrot Salad

Ezra is still building up his spice tolerance, so when we make this carrot salad, we set aside his portion before we mix in the chiles.

Indian-spiced Carrot Salad
inspired by The Everything Indian Cookbook

5 carrots, peeled and grated
juice of 1 lemon
a few tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
20 curry leaves (optional)

1 jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, mincedSalt to taste

In a large bowl, mix the carrots and lemon juice.

In a small skillet, heat the oil.  Add the oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves.  When the mustard seeds begin to pop, pour the mixture over the carrots.  Add the minced jalapeno, stir and salt to taste.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asparagus and Leek Quiche

Ezra helped with this recipe by breaking the asparagus into pieces (while eating most of the tips),  spreading the cheese into the pie pan (while breaking off pieces of the crust to eat) and cutting the butter (and eating it, then cutting again, and eating it, and then finally cutting one last piece for the recipe). 

Maybe I should have fed him before we started.

I experimented with putting the eggs and milk in a jar so he could shake instead of stir.  (I'm not willing to see my precious backyard chicken eggs splattered all over the kitchen.)  His chubby toddler arms didn't really have the strength to blend the eggs, but it was fun.

Asparagus and Leek Quiche

1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 cup of chopped asparagus
1 cup shredded cheese (I mixed gouda and parmesan)
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
black pepper
1 pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Heat the butter in a skillet, then saute the leeks and asparagus until the asparagus is al dente. 

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and black pepper.

Spread the cheese in the bottom of the crust, then add the asparagus and leeks.  Pour the egg mixture over the top. 

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the center is set.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie: Ezra joins the team at I Heart Kale!

Is anyone still reading?  If so, are you wondering where we've been for the last three years? 

Sorry to throw you under the bus, Ezra, but we blame our blog silence on the arrival of a certain family member who blah blah didn't have the motor skills for making Indian food from scratch.  Today, at two and a half, he finally stepped up and made his own afternoon snack for the first time, so we're ready to get back into blogging and start sharing Ezra's kitchen adventures.  To introduce our newest sous chef, here's what we got up to in the kitchen this afternoon:

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie  
with Ezra and Phoebe

1 banana
4 strawberries
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast

Ezra helped to peel the banana, then we held a butter knife together and chopped the banana and strawberries.  I thought the knife work would be difficult, but he's been watching us cook long enough that I only needed to steady the knife while he did the rest of the work.  He put the chopped fruit into our Magic Bullet mini-blender. 

I measured out some milk, which he poured into the blender... and on the table... and himself... and the floor.  Then he got out a rag and mopped up the spill.  He sprinkled some nutritional yeast into the blender and scooped in yogurt with a big spoon.

We screwed on the blender base together and I did the pureeing. 

It took about five times as long to make our smoothie as a team, but we're laying the groundwork for Ezra to whip up four-course tasting menus for us in our old age!